Here’s part six of Chris Woodka’s series “Taming the Land” running in the Pueblo Chieftain. Click through to read the whole thing and for the cool photos that he’s dug up from area libraries. From the article:
Along with the scope of the [Fryingpan-Arkansas Project], its mission changed too. Partly because of pressure from the Western Slope, the Southeastern district opted to allocate 51 percent of the water from the project to cities in its 1979 operating principles. As farmland is dried up by purchases of water off of farms, even more water is going to cities. Still, the Fry-Ark Project has been a boon for agriculture since 1972, when the first water from the other side of the mountains came into the valley. More than 1.6 million acre-feet of water have been allocated since then, with about 72 percent going to agriculture. In the future, agriculture’s share will be less, because cities have been more likely to take their full allocation since the 2002 drought. In addition, cities of the Lower Arkansas Valley will begin putting their share of water from the Fry-Ark Project into the Arkansas Valley Conduit, a drinking supply line that was part of the 1962 legislation, but was never built because of the expense. The conduit will be built under a new funding formula approved by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama this year.